Fight the Flu Campaign 2019-2020
We currently have flu shot available for ages 6 months and up in both offices.
Springfield shot clinic hours are:
Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday
10:00 am -12:00 pm and 1:00 pm -4:30 pm.
Please note that the Fair Ridge office shot clinic hours have been temporarily suspended.
The Fight the Flu Campaign has begun at Virginia Pediatric and Adolescent Center. We are pleased to be offering protection to our patients, their parents, and their in-home caregivers. We are offering only quadrivalent vaccine this season—it protects against 4 strains; other flu shots being offered in the community may only be trivalent (protecting against 3 strains). The 2019-20 influenza vaccine we are administering protects against 4 viral strains, A/Brisbane (swine flu/H1N1), A/Kansas (H3N2), B/Phuket, and B/Colorado. Two of those four strains (Singapore and Colorado) selected for the vaccine are different from last season based on recent/predicted flu strain activity; immunity lasts for about 12 months, so those vaccinated last flu season should receive vaccine again this season.
Influenza vaccination is RECOMMENDED for ALL children and adolescents 6 months and older, their household contacts, and their caregivers. It is especially encouraged for children in daycare, for adolescents living in dormitories, and for travelers. It is a MUST for patients over 6 months of age with asthma, congenital heart disease, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, HIV infection, chronic kidney disease, Down syndrome, for those on chronic aspirin/steroid therapy and for those immunocompromised because of chemotherapy or an immunodeficiency. Those in contact with anyone in this group should also be vaccinated, as should everyone in the household of children from newborn to age 5.
After vaccination it takes two to four weeks for protection to develop, and protection lasts for 1 year. As with any vaccine, protection is not 100%. If a patient does get influenza, the illness should be milder in a patient who has been vaccinated.
Inactivated Influenza Vaccine (Flu shot--Fluzone)
Because this inactivated influenza vaccine contains only noninfectious viruses, it CANNOT cause influenza. Respiratory disease after vaccination represents coincidental illness unrelated to influenza vaccine. The most frequent side effect is soreness at the injection site. A small percentage of patients report fever or muscle ache occurring 6-12 hours after vaccination. These effects usually last 24-48 hours. Most report no reactions. This vaccine is contraindicated in patients with a history of a life-threatening allergic reaction to a dose of flu vaccine or a severe allergy to any part of this vaccine (thimerosal or other ingredients), or anyone who has a history of Guillian-Barre syndrome, or in illness (mild illness is usually ok, but discuss with a provider if you are sick). If your child has a history of severe/anaphylactic egg allergy, please discuss this with your provider before the vaccine is administered. Fluzone contains a small amount of mercury (25 micrograms) that is used as a preservative. For children under age 3, and upon request, we have a preservative-free vaccine. FluMist is also thimerosal-free.
Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) (Intranasal--FluMist)
This vaccine was reformulated to be more effective than it used to be, and per the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics, it is an equal alternative to the shot this season. However, due to manufacturing issues, we will be receiving very few doses of the FluMist, so it may not be available throughout the flu vaccine season. FluMist is for ages 2-49 years. Contraindications include ALLERGY to Gentamicin, Gelatin or Arginine, a severe egg allergy (anaphylaxis), recurrent wheezing in children less than 5 years old (if your child has had wheezing or needed breathing treatments in the past 12 months, he or she should receive the flu shot rather than the FluMist), patients aged 2-18 years old on chronic aspirin therapy or with a history of Guillain Barre syndrome. It is also contraindicated for those in contact with a SEVERELY immunocompromised family member or in a patient who is immunocompromised. The most common side effects include runny nose/congestion (about half of patients), and sore throat (about 10% of patients), and fever above 101 (about 5% of patients). It is not for pregnant or nursing mothers.
Dosing for both FluMist and Fluzone requires a 2nd immunization in children under age 9 who are receiving the vaccine for the 1st time. The 2nd vaccination is needed > 4 weeks after the first dose.